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What Clients Look For When You are Marketing Yourself as an Expert


What Clients Look For When You are Marketing Yourself as an Expert

We are awash in information these days. Everywhere we turn, we are bombarded with data.

Confronted with an unfiltered array of choices, opinions, and facts, we seek out experts to help us make sense of it all. Individuals we can trust to tell us what to do, where to go, and what to buy.

If you’re an expert in something — and good at marketing yourself — these are indeed good times. When the media wants to frame a story and add context, they turn to experts for third-party insight. Major industry conferences and trade shows track them down for keynote speeches and roundtable panels. And when businesses need to make critical decisions or solve thorny problems, they look for an expert who they believe will steer them right — the first time.

If you’re a professional looking to build a reputation and attract new business, it can be frustrating to watch an expert attract all the attention with little apparent effort. They must be different, you think, much smarter or charismatic than me. But the truth is, they’re not. The trick to becoming a high-profile expert is simple: learn how to be more visible in the marketplace. There’s even a proven process that many industry stars have used to market themselves and ascend from anonymity to prominence.

The Benefits of Visibility

Being a high-visibility expert offers many benefits for you and your firm. Recognized industry experts attract new business, command higher fees, and help their firms build stronger, more successful brands. In fact, our research has shown that these individuals can boost their firms’ business significantly, enhancing their reputations, forging new partnerships, increasing billing rates and driving additional revenue. This osmosis-like transfer of benefits from an individual to the firm is called the “halo effect,” and the results are clear — when experts rise to the top, they bring their firms along for the ride.

But exactly how do average experts turn into industry rock stars? At Hinge, we resolved to dig a little deeper and uncover their secrets of success. We started by giving these stars a name – Visible Experts®. Then we started to examine common traits, skill sets, and the tools they used to achieve prominence.

The Visible Expert® Defined

Every industry has a handful of professionals who seem to be everywhere. They’re headlining industry events, being quoted in trade publications, and contributing expert opinions to articles, blog posts, and broadcasts.

The funny thing is, these experts are not necessarily the smartest or even most knowledgeable individuals in the room – you may actually have more knowledge and experience than they do. The difference is, they’ve attained high visibility in the marketplace and a reputation for expertise. They’re the Visible Experts. And potential clients value them more than gold.


What Clients Look for in a Visible Expert

What gives Visible Expert their cachet? First and foremost, Visible Experts are outstanding communicators. They have a knack for explaining complicated topics in simple language. They also tend to have strong specialized expertise that makes them even more valuable to prospects. For example, there are lots of accountants out there, but accountants with medical industry expertise are much more highly valued by medical device manufacturers. And these companies will pay a premium for this specialized expertise.

In our research, we identified the following key factors that clients associate with Visible Experts.The numbers in parentheses represent the percentage of respondents who identified each trait.

  • They come highly recommended by friends and colleagues (57%)
  • They’re effective communicators with the ability to make complicated subjects easily understandable (38%)
  • They’re problem-solvers with a proven track record of success that’s highly visible (36%)
  • They inspire confidence when they speak (31%)
  • They’re published in prestigious publications (27%)
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